JCM Baseball Academy fosters the game's future stars under the guidance of owner Justin McKay—an assistant coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University who, in 2012, played a major role in leading the team to its best record since 1994. McKay has recruited a staff of fellow Division I–level coaches and players that, together, run numerous programs and camps throughout the year. The JCM's junior- and high-school camps, for instance, focus on the skills and mechanics required to play each position on the field, and also emphasize the importance of remembering to enjoy the game. The camps unfold at FDU's Naimoli Family Baseball Complex, which features state-of-the-art turf to prevent injuries and rival players from planting poison ivy around second base.
The mirth-mages at The Sports Place blend mini golf, batting cages, basketball courts, inflatable playgrounds, and frozen treats into an eldritch brew of family-friendly fun. The GloPutt mini-golf course comes packed with motorized obstacles designed to light up the faces and giggleplexes of any child. Tiny Ted Williamses can test their mettle in one of 17 hardball and softball batting cages, while dribbling kings can preside over two full basketball courts. With no limit on the number of players, the entire family can partake in games of P.I.G., H.O.R.S.E., or B.L.U.E.-F.O.O.T.E.D. B.O.O.B.Y. Meanwhile, the inflatable playground, open Tuesday through Sunday, provides amateur acrobats with space to flip and tumble, dive down mega-slides, and scale slumbering dragons.
Opened in 1998, Floyd Hall Arena welcomes skaters of all sizes to practice their axels and slap shots on two NHL-sized ice rinks. In addition to youth hockey and Learn to Skate programs with professional instructors, the rink hosts public skating sessions each week so that casual skaters can loop the rink as their leisure and more advanced skaters can test out prototypes of hand skates. Patrons can take a look at upcoming public skating times by checking the monthly event schedule, found here.
TGA of Bergen County's staffers know golf and tennis, but above all else, they know kids. The certified pros and education experts have teamed up to design age-specific golf and tennis programs that not only teach children the rules of the game, but also instill valuable life lessons, education, and a love for physical fitness. As children swing clubs and racquets, the instructors stress playing fair and developing self-confidence through success, giving them positive motivation and praise after they sink a tricky putt or hit a homerun on the tennis court. The classes are interspersed with academic lessons on subjects such as math, science, and history, and of course, a healthy dose of fun. Whether the pre-screened and certified instructors are leading kids in a summer camp or afterschool program, they provide all the clubs, racquets, balls, and robo-caddies needed.
The New Jersey Children's Museum immerses its visitors in more than 30 interactive exhibits that encourage hands-on exploration and learning, a philosophy that helped the facility secure a place within (201) Magazine's Best of Bergen 2011 series. Adventure intertwines with education within the dinosaur cave, where kids can make cave drawings or dig up fossils of prehistoric sports mascots. Heads turn as flashing lights and the warning cries of an approaching locomotive fill the air at the giant train set, and news stories break at the television studio. In addition to its many curiosity-inducing zones, the award-winning facility also hosts birthday parties with themes such as fire trucks, princesses, and dinosaurs.
At Westwood Gallery, owners Mike and Lore Fitzsimmons celebrate their love for beautiful artwork with museum-quality preservation and framing of paintings and pictures. Everyone on staff boasts a background in art, allowing them to match a painting's style and period with the perfect frame and also consider the decor back at the customer's house. They can create original oil paintings from photographs, restore weathered paintings and photos, and brighten up bathroom vanities and bedroom walls with custom-framed mirrors. As longtime residents of Westwood, the owners promote the local creative community by hosting gallery parties, setting up photography exhibits, and challenging passersby to define "art" in one sentence or less.
The sun skips off the top of the crystalline waters of the pool. Heat waves undulate over the ground, and though the trek from the shade of the picnic tables to the pool may seem far, the cool, blue waters more than make up for it. Bergenfield Swim Club's 150-foot L-shaped pool ranges in depth from 3 to 12 feet and boasts two diving boards and an accompanying fenced-in kiddie pool. Around the pool, a sand volleyball court and gas barbecues invite families to stay all day and enjoy the summer sun.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.